J. D. White

James Dundas White (10 July 1866 – 30 April 1951),[1] known as J. D. White, was a Scottish Liberal Party politician. He was Member of Parliament (MP) from 1906 to 1918, with a short break in 1911.


White was the nephew of Lord Overtoun.


He was elected at the 1906 general election as Liberal MP for Dunbartonshire.

General election 1906: Dunbartonshire [2] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Dundas White 7,404
Conservative Henry Brock 6,937
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing

He was re-elected in January 1910.

General election January 1910: Dunbartonshire [3] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Dundas White 8,640
Conservative Henry Brock 7,607
Liberal hold Swing

In 1910 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Pentland the Secretary of State for Scotland. He did not stand at the December 1910 general election. [4] He returned to the House of Commons seven months later, when he was elected at the Glasgow Tradeston by-election, 1911.[5]

Glasgow Tradeston by-election, 1911[3] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Dundas White 3,869
Conservative John Henry Watts 1,086
Majority 2,783
Liberal hold Swing

He was one of a group of radical Liberal MPs called the Single Taxers, who favoured land reform. They had some success in persuading Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George who integrated some of their views into his 1913-14 land campaign. White favoured the introduction of Land value taxation and wrote extensively on the subject.[6] In 1912 when Thomas McKinnon Wood took over as Secretary of State for Scotland, White continued as his PPS. He remained as PPS to McKinnon Wood in his other roles until he left office in 1916. He was Chairman of one and member of several other Departmental Committees during the European War.[7] At the general election in 1918, White did not receive the Coalition Coupon and was defeated by a Unionist supporter of Lloyd George's coalition government.[8]

General Election 14 December 1918: Glasgow Tradeston[9] Electorate 35,960
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Lt-Col. Vivian Leonard Henderson MC 12,250
British Socialist Party James Dunlop McDougall 3,751 n/a
Liberal James Dundas White 3,369
Majority 8,499
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing n/a

In 1919 along with a number of other Single Taxers, he left the Liberal party and joined the Independent Labour Party. He did not contest the 1922 General election. At the 1923 General Election he contested Middlesbrough West.

General Election 1923: Middlesbrough West[10] Electorate 35,362
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Walter Trevelyan Thomson 16,837 69.4
Labour James Dundas White 7,413 30.6
Majority 9,424 38.8
Turnout 68.6
Liberal hold Swing

At the 1924 General Election he contested Glasgow Central.

General Election 1924: Glasgow Central[11] Electorate 44,010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Sir William Alexander 18,258 59.1
Labour James Dundas White 12,617 40.9
Majority 5,641 18.2
Turnout 70.2
Unionist hold Swing

In 1926 he became disillusioned with the failure of the Labour party to commit to land reform and resigned from the Labour party. He did not contested any further parliamentary elections.


  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 4)
  2. Whitaker's Almanack, 1907
  3. 1 2 Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1916
  4. Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 536. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  5. Craig, op. cit., page 509
  6. Lloyd George, Liberalism and the Land By Ian Packer
  7. ‘WHITE, J(ames) Dundas’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 4 March 2014
  8. Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 599. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  9. British parliamentary election results 1885-1918 by Craig, F.W.S. (1974)
  10. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949, F. W. S. Craig
  11. Oliver & Boyd's Edinburgh Almanac, 1927

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alexander Wylie
Member of Parliament for Dunbartonshire
1906December 1910
Succeeded by
Arthur Acland Allen
Preceded by
Archibald Corbett
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Tradeston
Succeeded by
Vivian Leonard Henderson

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